Documentary Realism: Media Literacy through “Bloody Sunday” (Paul Greengrass, 2001)

Paul Greengrass’s Bloody Sunday (2001) is a film which depicts the infamous events in Derry on January 30, 1972 through documentary techniques. Take notes on the following while watching the film and then use your notes to demonstrate how the director attains authenticity in Bloody Sunday.

  • The use of camera: the hand-held camera / the panning and tilting camera in Belfast streets
  • The opening moments of the film and the impact of intercutting in these moments
  • The dominantly used colors used in the film / the overall texture of the film
  • The use of fade-outs in the film
  • The soundtrack of the film: cacophony of voices, what you hear in the background: in the streets, in the offices, rubber bullets vs. live bullets, etc.
  • The camera’s focusing on faces of the actors
  • The use of end titles

© Ali Nihat Eken, Istanbul, May 2008
Photo credit: BFI.